UPDATE 1-Russia's Headhunter expects 2021 revenue growth of 37-42% as business recovers

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March 18 (Reuters) - Russia’s Headhunter expects revenue growth of 37% to 42% in 2021 as the labour market recovers from the pandemic and as digital recruitment becomes more common, it said on Thursday.

Headhunter, one of Russia’s top recruitment companies, generates the bulk of its revenue by offering employers and recruiters paid access to its CV database and job posting platform mainly in Russia and neighbours including Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Baltic states.

It reported a 30.9% rise to 650 million roubles ($8.82 million) in fourth-quarter net profit and said the business was back on track for growth across all major products and segments.

“Even though 2020 was an unprecedented turbulent year, it has also brought about a radical behavioural transformation into the entire economy, which, in our view, will have a long-lasting positive effect on the digital recruitment market,” said Chief Executive Officer Mikhail Zhukov.

Unemployment in Russia peaked in August at 6.4%, when Russia’s economy was still reeling from an oil price crash and COVID-19 lockdown measures, and then gradually declined to 5.9% by the end of 2020, according to Rosstat, the state statistics service.

Labour Minister Anton Kotyakov said in January the goal is to restore employment to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021.

Nasdaq-listed Headhunter said its fourth-quarter revenue grew by 18.5% to 2.45 billion roubles due to growth across all customer segments in Russia reflecting a recovery after the slowdown caused by COVID-19.

Global staffing major Randstad and Switzerland’s Adecco, which operate in Russia, said last month they were seeing a steady recovery in the employment market with business returning to the pre-pandemic levels as employers adapted to new ways of working.

Headhunter plans to discuss a potential 2020 dividend in the second quarter of 2021, it said.

The company’s depositary receipts in Moscow rose 2.5% by 1100 GMT

$1 = 73.6952 roubles Reporting by Anna Rzhevkina and Olga Beskrovnova; editing by Elaine Hardcastle